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The Rivington House Effect: New Nursing Wing Opens at Gouverneur

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Photo from Dr. Mitchell Katz's Twitter.
Photo from Dr. Mitchell Katz’s Twitter.

There was evidently a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday at New York Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur for 60 new nursing home beds. The de Blasio administration has portrayed the expansion at the longtime Lower East Side medical facility as part of its efforts to make up for the loss of the Rivington House nursing home.

The ceremony, which doubled as a Lunar New Year celebration, was attended by local elected officials. According to various social media feeds, City Councilmember Margaret Chin, City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and Deputy Manhattan Borough President Matthew Washington all took part. They were joined by Mitchell Katz, president of NYC Health + Hospitals. On Twitter, Katz said, “So pleased to join in ribbon-cutting @NYCHealthSystem Gouverneur to celebrate 60 new #SkilledNursing beds in beautiful space offering much needed care for the community.”

On Jan. 9, the administration announced that the new skilled nursing home beds would be created at 227 Madison St. The Gouverneur nursing center is a 295-bed facility within a larger medical complex that underwent a multi-million renovation several years ago. The new beds are located on floors of Gouverneur that were previously unused. Administration officials said 75 health care professionals would be hired to handle the expansion.

The former Rivington House nursing home, with 219 beds, is now being converted to luxury condos. Referencing the city’s decision to drop deed restrictions on the Rivington House building, the mayor said last month, “This neighborhood must be made whole for a broken City process that resulted in the sale of a critical health care facility.” In the same announcement, the city acknowledged that it was reneging on a promise to build senior housing on Pike Street. It also claimed that a new senior housing project on Norfolk Street was part of the Rivington House restitution plan, even though that project had previously been announced by private developers.

Local activists have been pressing local elected officials for help in holding the administration accountable. Even through the condo conversion is already occurring, they want the mayor to follow through on a promise to engage Rivington House’s new owners about creating a new health care facility in the Rivington Street building.

Photo from Sen. Brian Kavanagh's Twitter.
Photo from Sen. Brian Kavanagh’s Twitter.

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